25 Feb.

Stress began creeping on me again. I hadn’t been putting enough time and effort into cultivating the silence.  Meditation practice truly is like digging a hole in wet sand. There is nothing permanent in this world.

Even though my house was full of noise and commotion I just had to find the time to reconnect. I sat on the bed. I closed my eyes and observed the breath. But soon I realised that I didn’t have to focus on anything at all. So I just sat there, present in my body. Listening. I got that feeling again: everything was as it was and there was nothing I could or should do to change it.

Also… on Saturday, I was waiting for my wife in the car. I strengthen my back a bit and started noticing my breath. I let go of that and just became aware of the stillness and silence underneath my small mind. And a familiar thought overpowered me. No, not a thought, a feeling: everything is as it is regardless of my thoughts and feelings. My thoughts are completely irrelevant. Powerless. Helpless. I stayed with that wonderful feeling of vulnerability: yes, I am hanging on the ledge between a cobra and a tiger, we all are, and there is nothing I can do. I gave myself the permission to enjoy the strawberry.

Also… while I was driving on Sunday morning, I observed random thoughts popping in and out of my brain. Some stupid. Some funny. Some sad. I felt that they didn’t matter at all because that deep and vast silence underneath could not be changed by any of them.

When I was coming back from work on Friday the weather was miserable. As it had been for the past few weeks. And suddenly springtime exploded over my head: it was like exiting a dark tunnel straight into vast brightness. When I still lived in Poland, there was always that one moment each year when, quickly and unexpectedly, the sky changed colour from grey to blue, cold air became saturated with the smell of sun, leaves and wet sand. The first day of spring. Full of happiness and longing.

I went to the park with my family on the weekend. We passed by a runner. Our dogs sniffed each other for a very short moment… and yet long enough for me to squeeze in a joke. He gave me an awkward smile and kept running. I felt very bitter and sad. I said to my wife, “Did you hear that? What a clown I am! Will I ever learn? Why do I feel that I always have to entertain other people – as if my self-worth depended on it? Why can’t I just shut up and be invisible? I see how absurd it is, but I have been like this my whole life. I have this behavior burned into my brain, and it is so hard to change it.”

That type of behavior – along with judging and complaining – creates a lot of suffering for me. I know it arises from my small mind. My ego wants to be noticed and the only way to be noticed is to be pronounced, separate and different. My ego is right – for the ego to be silent, humble and still means to be dead.

On the same day, I snapped a picture of some trees. I love trees. I am one lucky guy. There are over 3 trillion of them.

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